Morningside Tavern

Project Location / Auckland

Project Design / Material Creative

Project Photography / Sam Hartnett

The Morningside Tavern features an unforgettable red brick and timber interior to celebrate the suburb’s industrial past.

Morningside Precinct in Auckland hosts an impressive hospitality array including a dessert bar, dumpling house, event space, cider bar and vegetarian restaurant. At its heart is the Morningside Tavern, a lofty, semi-industrial space designed by Material Creative. The space is layered, with a sheltered street-front courtyard and an interior that is inviting and earthy, its red-brick walls and timberwork solid and timeless.

‘Morningside has a diverse mix of residential, industrial and historic buildings,’ says interior designer Toni Brandso. ‘Lacking community fusion, the brief was to anchor the neighbourhood with a “trusty watering-hole”. Local history was front of mind when we transformed the 350 square metre warehouse into a warm, textural space with a focus on creating a place for “the people” that would be comfortable and uncomplicated.’

The shell of an old curtain factory offered an eclectic space right from the start, with its high stud and exposed steel structure. The owners envisioned a red-brick interior to link to the industrial past and create a real point of difference. The designers combined the brick with a tumbled herringbone oak floor from VidaSpace, the oak’s depth of colour, pattern and character proving a perfect partner for the modular brick.

The two primary materials are combined with an exposed steel mezzanine, leather upholstery, curved plywood chairs, and a large surrealist mural by artist Hayley Brown. Brightly coloured lacquers applied to beer taps and ductwork add unexpected colour and shine to give the tavern playfulness and warmth. The whole effect is relaxed but edgy, in keeping with the slightly untamed character of its namesake suburb.